Monday 4 May 2020

Bell Hoppy Background

The establishing shot of Bell Hoppy, released in 1954, starts with a quick pan down a background drawing by Dick Thomas. Director Bob McKimson doesn’t seem to want to waste any time; the camera’s already panning when the scene fades in.

Thomas started out as one of the new, young background artists at Warner Bros., working first in Bob Clampett’s unit making black-and-white cartoons in the late ‘30s. By this time, he was paired by layout artist Bob Givens.

McKimson’s unit was disbanded before Warners shut down its cartoon studio for the last six months of 1953 and wasn’t reassembled when the studio reopened in January 1954. There was some question whether there would be a third unit at all (Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones headed the other units). But it was reactivated several months later with Thomas returning, but McKimson finding himself with a new animation crew and layout artist. Givens eventually returned and the two left for Hanna-Barbera in 1959, though Thomas stopped first at Disney to work on Sleeping Beauty.

Thomas’ last credit at Warners was Dog tales, released in mid-1958

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, Yowp, but Thomas' last credit for Warner Brothers was "Claws in the Lease", released in 1963 and directed by McKimson.